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Facebook Announces Big Renewable Energy Switch

Facebook waste program

Profile layouts, timelines and questionable privacy options aren’t the only things changing with Facebook.

After two years’ worth of campaign efforts by Greenpeace, the social media giant has announced it will power all of its operations, including data centers, with clean and renewable energy instead of coal.

One of the popular Greenpeace campaigns gathered 700,000 supporters to “unfriend Facebook” until energy policies were changed. An April 2011 report by the environmental group calculated that 53.2% of Facebook’s electricity was generated by dirty coal, the same amount as for 30,000 U.S. homes.

Part of Facebook’s goal is to work more closely with Greenpeace during these developments, promoting awareness and action with their environmental changes.

“We are excited to work with them [Greenpeace] to explore new ways in which people can use Facebook to engage and connect on the range of energy issus that matter most to them, from their own energy efficiency to access to cleaner sources of energy.” said Marcy Scott Lynn of Facebook’s sustainability program.

According to Casey Harrell, senior IT analyst for Greenpeace, Facebook’s renewable energy commitment “raises the bar for other IT and cloud computing companies such as Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Twitter.” The group has also argued that IT companies could be a strong force in helping countries develop low-carbon economies.

Facebook will build a green datacenter in Sweden to handle all processing in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The facility will cover about 18 miles of land and run primarily on renewables.

Do you think Facebook’s move will encourage other companies to follow suit?

Via Guardian
Image: Facebook

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